Supporting small businesses is something my parents instilled in me from a young age. As entrepreneurs, they often reminded me that shopping at small businesses provides financial support to budding business owners, giving just enough moral support to encourage them to continue to pursue their dreams.
Now that I’m an adult, I’m constantly looking for small businesses to show love to. Thankfully, as a beauty expert, I’m often introduced to brands that push for inclusivity and diversity.
In honor of Black History Month, I’ve created a roundup of some of my favorite Black-owned beauty businesses that I’ve watched flourish from small ventures to landing big deals with retail giants. From body products and skincare to haircare and makeup, see all the brands that will forever hold a space on my beauty counter.
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Eadem’s journey since it landed a spot in Sephora’s Accelerator Program in 2021. Since then, I’ve spoken with founders Marie Kouadio Amouzame and Alice Lin Glover. They told me that they pride themselves in pioneering “Smart Melanin Beauty” through products that combine science-backed ingredients and heritage botanicals to efficiently care for skin of color.
My personal experience with Eadem
I’ve been using the Cloud Cushion Airy Brightening Moisturizer for the past six weeks. The moisturizer, which comes with a fufu spoon inspired by Kouadio Amouzame’s Ivorian Coast ancestry and Glover’s Taiwanese heritage, feels like a plush cloud on my skin. The formula featuring four-amino acid peptide (tetrapeptide-30) has helped brighten the subtle hyperpigmentation caused by acne scars — yes, I popped a pimple or two. I’m human!
Pound Cake Cosmetics
Pound Cake Cosmetics, founded by Camille Bell and Jonathan Velazquez, has been on a mission to represent all shades of beauty since before it officially launched in 2021. The team created a liquid lipstick designed for different skin and lip tones while participating in Glossier’s $500,000 Grant Initiative For Black-Owned Beauty Businesses in 2020.
My personal experience with Pound Cake Cosmetics
I was ecstatic to get my hands on the brand because I had followed it since its inception. I immediately fell in love with the Cake Batter because the versatile red lipstick was lightweight and easy to apply. The formula contains a rich blend of avocado oil and vitamin C for skin, which keeps my lips moisturized. It’s been a major player in my makeup routine ever since.
If you ask me, body care is self-care. After listening to Hanahana Beauty’s founder Abena Boamah, M.Ed speak on a virtual panel about how her beauty business inspired her to create time and space to prioritize self-care, I was motivated to try the brand in hopes of doing the same.
My personal experience with Hanahana Beauty
Since I typically practice self-care at night, I’m especially fond of the soothing Lavender Vanilla Body Butter. Not only does it smell good, but it also moisturizes and rejuvenates my skin overnight. Hanahana’s lightweight body butters are made with cocoa butter, mango butter, oils, and shea butter from Ghana, which contribute to the formula’s rich and creamy texture.
In an effort to strike the ideal balance between fragrance and skincare, Brianna Arps began developing Moodeaux in 2018. After three years of research, Moodeaux released its first product designed to encourage people to flaunt how they feel and recently joined Sephora’s Accelerator Program in 2023.
My personal experience with Moodeaux
Although fragrances can have a drying effect, they’re an essential part of my routine as a dedicated beauty enthusiast. The Worthy Supercharged Skinscent Dry Oil Perfume was like a hug in a bottle after I learned the product’s formula uses fragrance oils to help the scent last longer without drying out the skin.
I was given a sample to try during the 2021 October launch, and I instantly fell in love with the scent that featured notes of white tea, orange blossom, red rose, lavender, leafy greens, dry musk, vanilla woods, and amber.
We are what we eat! I listened to Golde’s founder Trinity Mouzon Wofford talk about the importance of boosting your beauty from the inside out during a virtual panel in 2021.
My personal experience with Golde
Later in the year, I had the opportunity to speak with Wofford about the thought process behind the Coconut Collagen Boost, which uses the natural collagen in your body to support and maintain plump, hydrated skin. Since then, I’ve been hooked on the collagen boost, powered by a blend of superfoods that include hyaluronic acid for skin sourced from fermented vegetables, bamboo extract for collagen production, and biotin to strengthen hair and nails.
When craving something more from my morning cup of joe, I turn to the collagen boost, which provides the perfect subtle hint of coconut and vanilla to my otherwise black coffee.
Bread Beauty Supply
After attending a virtual event for Bread Beauty Supply, I was impressed to learn that the brand was influenced by founder Maeva Heim’s childhood. She spent much of her childhood alongside her mother at her African braiding salon in Perth, Australia. Heim’s love for hair inspired her to simplify curly girl hair routines worldwide.
My personal experience with Bread Beauty Supply
I love Bread Beauty Supply’s Hair-Oil, which the brand describes as a lip gloss for your hair. The oil harvests the benefits of safflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, and castor seed oil to ensure the hair stays soft, smooth, and glossy. Plus, it smells like berries!
Glow by Daye
As a Glowsly Girl, I was quite drawn to the name Glow by Daye. The hair accessory brand was founded by Ranay Orton — a self-described “lazy natural” — to make attaining and maintaining healthy hair easier with silk and satin must-haves, including scarves, bonnets, pillowcases, and shower caps.
My personal experience with Glow by Daye
Silk and satin have many advantages for hair, including helping to retain moisture, reduce frizz, and preserve styles longer. I swear by the Premium Satin Bonnet because it features an adjustable string to ensure a customizable and comfortable fit.
Support Black-owned brands beyond February
To help Black-owned brands genuinely change the narrative of the beauty space, we have to support them well beyond the 28 days of February. If you need more reasons to support Black-owned businesses, it’s time to recognize the importance of diversifying your shopping experience.